SEO Trends in 2023, What To Watch For

SEO Trends in 2023, What To Watch For

What StartUps and SME’s Should Focus On in 2023

SEO Trends in 2023, What To Watch For

What StartUps and SME’s Should Focus On in 2023

Biggest SEO Trends in 2023

Whether you are an e-commerce website or lead-focused service website, SEO and ranking on Google is likely to be a big part of your online marketing strategy.

In this SEO Podcast, Andy discusses the top 5 SEO Trends for 2023, how they are likely to impact on SME’s and how you can grow your online business and sales in 2023.

Discussing the Biggest SEO Trends for 2023, SEO Andy, talks about:

  • User Intent in accessing your content and how to focus your content on increasing search rank and gaining more traffic and sales.
  • Local Search and why it’s going to become more important in 2023.
  • Voice search and how to take advantage of it.
  • Why Google is likely to focus on Video in 2023, and how you can use this to gain more traction in search ranking.
  • and Why AI is going to explode in online marketing in 2023.

You can watch the above audio as a Video Podcast on YouTube or Subscribe on iTunes/Apple Podcast, your support is greatly appreciated.

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Do Meta Titles and Descriptions Still Matter for SEO in 2022?

Do Meta Titles and Descriptions Still Matter for SEO in 2022?

Meta Tags 2022 - Best Practice

Long gone are the days when SEOs could really argue that Meta Titles or Descriptions held some kind of mystical ‘ranking factor value’ – but sat here right now in 2022, I do regularly argue with clients that Meta Titles and Descriptions hold great value.

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Let me first start off by explaining what these two tags (meta tags) are, just for the avoidance of doubt – or indeed if you are new to the world of search engine optimisation.

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SEO - What are meta tags

The Meta Title, is the blue link in search results, here “The SEO Andy Podcast | iHeart”

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It is in essence the call to action of a page and the main sentiment of a page.

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The Meta Description is a short 145-character summary of the page. Here iHeart has taken the first sentence or so of the podcast entry for the syndication and used it for the meta tag.

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Meta Titles and Descriptions back a few years ago (ok a good few years ago) could potentially be used to signal to search engines what phrases you’d like a page to rank for. However, as more sites became aware of this ability to (almost) manipulate search engines, such as Google, made moves to reduce/eliminate this.

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Today, then what ‘good’ do these meta tags do if they do not directly affect rank?

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So this is where my argument has been with several clients…

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Meta tags may not affect the ranking in the same manner as say an inbound link or other ranking factors such as your on-page content quality may. However, good meta titles and descriptions are actual traffic drivers, they drive the clicks once you have achieved some kind of ranking.

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In essence, you have two elements of ranking at play here; the inbound and content (ranking directly) and then the meta tags (CTR) and if the CTR is high enough and has a low enough bounce rate/or high enough engagement rate could increase your ranking further. So, my argument is clear that having good/great meta tags which drive traffic is a requirement for any website.

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5 Best Practices for Writing Meta Titles

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Writing meta titles is similar to writing headlines for articles, something we’ve spoken about before, only of course this is about getting clicks from search (not just about engaging readers or clicks from your users).

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With this in mind, here are my 5 best practices for writing meta titles:

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1) Ensure You Have a Title on Every Page (and that it is branded!)

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This sounds like the most obvious piece of advice you will ever read, but whether you have a new website or an old and sprawling website it pays to double-check that every single page of your website has a meta title. – if a page doesn’t have a title, search engines attempt to fill in the gaps and trust me when I say the results are … dodgy.

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As a bonus tip: always remember to BRAND up your pages, do something in a formula-style so you recall what to do … for example most website I help stick to the “… | BRAND” or “…| category | brand” type formula perhaps with a dash or slash in place of the pipe – the brand also means you reinforce you are the official site of the brand incase anyone else is mentioning your name and so you are unlikely to get pushed out of that top spot.

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2) Be Descriptive and Concise

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You have a maximum of 70 characters for your meta title (do not exceed it, Google will truncate it). Being descriptive is paramount, if you are not (and use page titles such as “home) then you risk your meta title being re-written by search engines. Stick to short snappy titles that draw the eye, for example, “SEO Consulting | Get SEO Help | SEO Andy

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3) Avoid Repetition on the Majority of Pages

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Whilst the page title isn’t a ranking factor, you can find your website in trouble for using the same meta tag across a large number of pages (or very similar tags indeed). For instance, using the meta title “Cheap X in Manchester” on every page of a site would cause search engines to likely demote a site – as even though you ar changing a single word in that title, the remaining words are the same (it is why you often see large e-commerce or dropship sites struggle). So be careful to make descriptions unique.

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4) Add an Action

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Readers want to know they can achieve something. They want to know if something is easy, actionable, or interesting — by adding action words to a title you can grab that little coiled spring in someone’s mind and get them to engage a little more with a post and title — you can earn that click. Some examples of this are: “5 clever ways to X” “7 easy ways to write Y”.

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5) Avoid Keyword Stuffing

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There is nothing worse for users (and less engaging, so it will drag down your CTR) than a meta tag that is stuffed with the same keyword or pluralised versions of the same keyword. Again this is something that in certain industries search engines can be quite hot on, so avoid this or you can find yourself being demoted.

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4 Tips for SEO-Friendly Meta Descriptions

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Writing Meta Descriptions is fairly easy once you get started, you just need to stick within certain limits (75 to 140 characters) be concise, and be informative – the other thing to note is that you should use the tone of your website content, otherwise it can be jarring for visitors who do click and you may get a bounce or two more than you expect.

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1) Think of it as a business pitch!

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Forget the 60 elevator pitch, you’ve got 20 or 30 seconds (if you are really lucky) to pitch your idea, page and selling point. You have around one tweet’s worth of content to explain everything, consider everything carefully – you’ve hours to figure out what will say in those few important seconds to make it perfect! Be Concise and informative.

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2) No Repeating Yourself

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Think of this a bit like the radio show “Just a minute” (a gameshow in which panelist are not allowed, among other things to repeat themselves or they get buzzed out). Repeating yourself once or twice across your entire website isn’t going to get you in much trouble, though it may look a little odd to users, but if you did it across your entire blog or product catalog – search engines and users alike will simply ignore your input as spam. Also search engines will simply select their own text from your page – again its not a good luck and it could end really badly.

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3) Be Keyword Rich and Relevant

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Your meta tag should be keyword rich yet highly relevant and still pull your audience in. It is a sales pitch so don’t have 15 key words … it won’t rank it will look ugly and people won’t click it. One sentence, max 2 keywords and a nice sell.

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4) Iterate Iterate, Update

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One thing people forget is that you can always update your meta tags. Google won’t always re-index them in a few days (like it may a new page) but it will eventually. So if you’ve a product page or 1000 of them update them on a regular basis. Meta tags can be living things, you just have to remember they are there and that these are the things which will get you an audience that will buy from you. Practice makes perfect.

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7 Tips for Finding the Perfect Domain Name

7 Tips for Finding the Perfect Domain Name

Business owners around the world often think that a domain is just an address for their website, they think they can pick anything and it won’t matter because it will work out well for them. But a domain is so much more than just an address.n

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A domain is the first thing your potential customers see.n

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A domain is on all of your business cards, it’s on all of your social media, it’s on all of your business emails and it’s how people will remember you.n

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Here are my 7 tips for picking a top-notch domain for your business, whether it’s a start-up, a rebrand or you are growing. You’ll be able to nail a great domain with the help of these 7 tips.

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Be a Brand

As I mentioned above, your domain is the face of your business. So brand it up.n

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Whether its a personal brand, like mine (SEOAndy.com — a name) or a large business like google which owns domains like blog.google too, or obviously smaller companies or organizations make it branded and memorable.n

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Keep it short too is usually the keep.

Don’t Be Tempted to Shorten Everything

Words such as science don’t always fit with being shortened, sure with science-fiction to sci-fi it fits well but if your brand is planetscience.com I assure you no one will remember planetsci.com — the same goes for a bunch of other similar words. A few extra characters never bothered anyone, yes there is a balance but perhaps the balance here is not having too many words and not putting hyphens in your domain.n

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The second thing I would say is if your brand/domain is multi-worded, cut it down to just a few characters. Think WWF uses wwf.org.uk and Charities Aid Foundation uses CAFonline.org — short is better in these cases.

Go Top-Level

Having a TLD is like the gold standard for domains, go for it. I would say if you can get the .co.uk and .org.uk type domains to for the country-level too to match up just to keep your brand locally, but if you can’t get the TLD your brand is likely already on the dodgy territory. (in the first instance check to see what’s on that domain, you may be about to have a copyright battle!)n

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The majority of all sites use .com as their domain, and you can always forward other domains you buy to it.

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Avoid Copyright Terms

Speaking of copyright above, avoid any copyright or trademark issues — don’t go for branded terms that are obvious. Don’t say “googleiscrap.com” in your domain or anything stupid, don’t even use a brand in praise in a domain — you are on dodgy territory.

Use Keywords

Before nipping to your favorite domain registrar, I use Hover, to brainstorm some ideas using 3 or 4 keywords to summarize your business. (On hover if you enter one or two words it will shoot out domains that may match your thoughts, see below for the words SEO and News — additionally hover have a huge range of domains available that can’t be found elsewhere I’ve found, such as .ltd)

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Mix and match, see what makes sense and what doesn’t — cut the crap out yourself, and then ask a friend or two to help you.n

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Pro-tip: Don’t use any complex words or difficult-to-spell words, if it’s not memorable, easy to type or you use long words, no one will ever just type it in… even from your business card, never mind their memory.

Ignore Current Fads / Trends

Don’t fall for fads and trends such as missing I’s from your domain because ‘it looks cool’ — it will just look silly in a few months when you try and buy it with an I and you find it doesn’t exist or the brand with the I is already in your sector … and you have to rebrand… be very careful with your domains and picking them on a fad.

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Stuck for a word? Use a Thesaurus

One of the best tips I picked up from a friend was when looking for domains always pick up a thesaurus, and see what other related words there are, what similar words describe the same thing and whether I can say the same thing with fewer words. It’s always just worth a flip through for a random idea too!

5 Easy Tricks To Boost Sales on eBay

5 Easy Tricks To Boost Sales on eBay

What do you really need to do in order to grow your sales through eBay stores this Festive Season?

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As an SEO Agency, we work to increase sales for online businesses. Part of our role is to ensure that those selling, either via their own website or by a third-party such as eBay, get the biggest number of conversions possible.

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The majority of the helpful tips below can be used across any selling platform, though a few of them are eBay-specific.

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How to increase your eBay Conversion Rate

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  1. Research Your CompetitorsnWhether you and your business have listed on eBay before, or on another platform, it is important to perform lots of searches “as a buyer” before you start listing your products.nnLook at everything from the obvious; Title, Price, Postage Cost and Description — to the items which are probably less scrutinised by sellers but all products really look at; Product Images / Gallery, Terms and Conditions, Number of Products Available and Seller History.nnThis research means you will be able to see whether their strategies are working (if they’ve good ratings and it looks professional etc) and potentially what their strategies are (are they going for a lower price to sell more or a higher price to increase the margin). In addition to this looking at what the product titles are and the product descriptions and layout you can begin to build a picture of what success looks like on eBay for your specific niche market.n
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  3. Take High-Quality PhotosnA simple and high-quality photo with your product can make you stand ‘head and shoulders above your competition. Photography is extremely important with platforms such as eBay and Amazon because once a user has searched and results are shown, their eyes are drawn to the photos — if you can show professionalism and quality, you are more likely to get that click. nnHere are a few tips for getting the best photography for your products:na. use a good quality camera (not your mobile)nb. use natural daylight where possible (artificial light can be too harsh)nc. take a number of photos (various angles and close-ups)nd. NEVER use a manufacturer’s / commercial image.n
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  5. Create A Great Product TitlenYou have only 80 characters on eBay for your product title, this means you can’t describe your product in full (usually). So instead you need to keep it concise but detailed, you need to include relevant keywords such as Brand, Colour and Size (if you are selling clothing, for example).nnA top tip is that if you have some spare space to deal with in your title tag then you can begin to include descriptive keywords such as “beautiful” and “ideal for ABC” — but your specific detail should always come first when writing an eBay Product Title.n
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  7. Write the Perfect Product DescriptionnDescribing your product is the key to giving your customer that extra bit of confidence they may need to buy with you, over another seller on eBay. The vital thing here is to be honest in describing the product, don’t oversell on underselling — just describe the product in literal terms, use good grammar and double-check your spelling, and don’t simply copy and paste from anywhere (including your own website).nnA great tip, which we tell all eBay customers, is that if you are selling two very similar products (say the same dress in a few colours or a number of plants in different colours) that the majority of the description can be the same, it saves time and is already well written, but you should always have at least 300 characters of unique description for each product listing. This makes a huge difference both to the buyers and potentially to search engines, who really don’t want to see duplicate content.n
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  9. Always Consider the AudiencenIn all of the above you have considered what you want to achieve, but you should also always be considering what the audience is looking for. If you are selling plants, then your audience may want to know extra information such as where the plant will thrive, soil type, when it will bloom or fruit etc — these are all things to put into your description, not simply “ABC is a B-type and is green”. nnThe big tip is to always think as “assumed knowledge” isn’t actually true, you should never assume when selling online. This is the same idea with your photography, if you are selling something tacky then you may cover your photo in a sign saying “50% off” but if you are trying to attract a better audience who are willing to pay that little more and increase your revenue, don’t put text on your photos. (I admit though a logo on your images is a good idea as a watermark).
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